Let’s Talk Turkey

tofurkeyA little Christmas tale to share. . .

Our holiday festivities were low and quiet this year. Even dinner was as low-fuss, low-maintenance as possible. Usually Christmas dinner preparations start about seven in the morning. This time – nothing, nor anybody, moved until mid-afternoon.

Well, not entirely true–I noticed Mom silently standing at the kitchen door, sniffing hard, a few times.

My husband, aka Man-wonder, and I decided to try a new kind of turkey (for us). The kind where the meat shop rocks and rolls two hunks of breast meat into one, tamps a hunk of skin over top and then stuffs it in a stretchy mesh bag. We didn’t have the courage to try the fancy stuffed version. Nope, we went for the bare-bones. (Or would that be the bare-breasted model?)

Then, because I failed to ask for cooking instructions, I had to seek help online. One cook’s blog advised to take the mesh bag off before cooking since the mesh tends to roast into the meat and is a pain to remove. An image flashed through my head of me pulling the mesh bag off and the whole thing flopping open like a thick pink pancake.

In the end I decided to remove some of the mesh; meaning I cut out the center part leaving two thin strips. I pictured it resting in the pan just like the pictures online where the turkey roast is twice-bound with butcher’s twine.

After carefully snipping away every strand except for two thin strips, I watched in horror as the strips were sucked out of sight, shrinking deep into the pink flesh.

Note to self; Mesh isn’t butcher’s twine. It’s elastic and snapped onto a roast like an under-sized girdle.

So there I was, staring down at this pink blob which was not only busting loose sideways but also popping out both ends like a stripper yelling, “Look at me, Look at me!” One end didn’t stop shooting out until it looked exactly like a turkey neck!

The whole thing was fascinating. . .in a creepy way.

I tried to stuff it back into a roast shape. I guess my cursing caught Man-wonder’s attention because he came running. And here I have to say—for a former hunter he wasn’t too willing to stick his hands into the jiggly pink. Nor did he find the sight of me snorting and giggling while man-handling his dinner-to-be too funny. Thank heavens Mom has poor hearing because I don’t know how I would have ever explained what was lying on our counter and not given her nightmares.

Finally, Man-wonder and I just gave up and shoved what looked like a naked alien with a wedgie into the oven and hoped for the best.

The rest of the meal was a snap (no, not like the elastic). Slice and dice the veggies.  Open a box of gravy (ho ho ho). Fluff up a box of stuffing. Open a plastic box containing half a pumpkin pie and finally—try to make cranberry jelly stop looking like the can it came out of.

And after eating the meal, I have to be honest—the only place Christmas dinner was memorable was in the kitchen. . .

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